Saturday, April 16, 2016

Limoncello Batch #1

So the batch of limoncello I started on New Year's Day is out in the wild.

Alcohol: Everclear 190 (1 1.75l bottle)
Lemons: 20 organic from Fresh Market
Simple Syrup: 10 cups water, 7 cups sugar

The simple syrup was the problematic step. Because the Everclear was 190, instead of 151 from the recipe, I would need much more simple syrup to get the alcohol content down to something drinkable. Ben at recommends going down to 25% alcohol if you're giving it away as a gift, but I was worried that a gallon of simple syrup would make the whole thing much too sweet.

My friend A--- wisely pointed out that you can always put more simple syrup in, but you can't take it out. So I decided to double the "standard" recipe, putting in about 13.5 cups of simple syrup.

I couldn't wait for it to mellow, and tried a shot that night (February 13). The flavor was generally good, but there was a harshness underneath. The harshness did soften a bit over time, but in the end, the alcohol content of this is really too high -- the calculator puts it at about 33%. When you hold a swallow in your mouth, it burns slightly, like Listerine.

I've bottled it up, and am selectively handing out to friends to try, encouraging them to experiment with ways to offset the alcohol. A--- thinks she wants to try mixing in some whipping cream. My best success so far was with a very good Ginger Limoncello Fizz cocktail: a shot of limoncello, a shot of ginger ale, and a couple shots of seltzer.